Kapsch to operate Rhode Island’s new truck-only tolling system


Kapsch TrafficCom has been awarded a contract by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to design, install, operate, and maintain its new statewide truck-tolling system.

The new system will be a truck-only tolling program, and is part of Rhode Island’s larger ‘Rhodeworks’ initiative, which aims to strengthen the state economy by investing in repairs and upgrades to its transportation infrastructure. The all-electronic tolling (AET) system will use a single-gantry setup at 13 bridge and ramp toll points to enable free-flowing traffic, meaning that trucks can pay cashless tolls while traveling at highway speeds.

Toll fees will be collected either by the vehicle’s onboard E-ZPass transponder, which is interoperable with the rest of the E-ZPass network, or by video license plate capture for drivers without an onboard unit. Video tolling will be enabled by Kapsch’s Vehicle Detection and Classification sensor (nVDC), which when mounted on the gantry can classify the vehicle’s size to ensure that only trucks are tolled. The nVDC does not require additional sensors to be installed in the pavement, which will contribute to Rhodeworks’ efforts by lowering maintenance costs and extending roadway lifespan.

The new AET system, in addition to FAST Act funding, will enable RIDOT to generate the revenue needed to repair and properly maintain Rhode Island’s structurally deficient bridges and damaged roadways, the majority of which are affected by the weight of heavy commercial vehicles. Cars and small trucks will not be tolled under the program. Kapsch will manage the project locally from its field office in Rhode Island, in cooperation with its major design-build subcontractors, Aetna Bridge Company and CDM Smith Inc. Several local MBE (minority business enterprise) subcontractors will assist in the design, construction, and operational phases of the contract. The first two toll sites are expected to be in revenue service by the end of 2017. The full toll system project, including all 13 toll sites, is planned to be in revenue service in early 2019.

Chris Murray, president of Kapsch North America, commented, “We are excited to be selected by Rhode Island to provide their statewide truck-only toll system, and we look forward to working with RIDOT and our local partners to successfully deliver this system and help make the Rhodeworks program a reality.”

RIDOT director Peter Alviti Jr added, “We look forward to breaking ground in the fall and getting the first tolling locations operational by the end of this year.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).